According to Global Web Index, the average person has around seven social media accounts. For most people, a password is the first line of defense against intruders and imposters. We all use passwords for different purposes, not only for the internet.
Outside of the world wide web, we use passwords to open our safes, operate cash machines, to unlock our phones and computers, and so on. Being the most common form of authentication, there’s a lot of misinformation about passwords online.
There has been a surge in cases of password-related information breaches worldwide. As a result, a lot of people get extremely paranoid and start worrying about every single security detail and go online in search of answers.
With a lot of myths floating around the internet, it’s very easy to come across bad password advice. This particular approach to password security can be problematic if you don’t know what you are looking for. Here’s a list of common password misconceptions online.
Passwords Are No Longer Secure
Compared to available forms of authentication such as biometrics, telephone number, and government ID, passwords are quite secure as a form of authentication. The problem is that a lot of users don’t put much effort in creating strong passwords.
As a result, hackers are able to use techniques such as brute-forcing to access their accounts and steal sensitive information. As a rule of thumb, passwords should be strong — in the sense that they can’t be guessed through brute-forcing — and unique. With a password generator, it’s a breeze to generate strong combinations that can withstand a range of attacks.
Passwords are still a top authentication method, especially when enhanced with two-factor authentication.
Password Length Is Not Important
This is one of the most common misconceptions about passwords online. There are a lot of arguments that the length of the password doesn’t have a lot of impact vis-à-vis the strength of the password. Well, as it has been successfully demonstrated by experts, that’s not entirely accurate.
Passwords generally become more secure with added length compared to the use of more diverse characters. It’s also important to note that passwords don’t have a maximum length. Your password can be as long as you need it to be. While 17 characters are more than generous for a password, you can use more characters when encrypting highly sensitive data.
Passwords Are an Outdated Form of Authentication
Some people are of the opinion that as a form of authentication, passwords are outdated. Well, that can’t be further from the truth. While there have been efforts to replace passwords with biometrics such as fingerprints and facial recognition, these technologies have been found to be extremely lacking in security.
Biometrics are not as good in protecting sensitive data as they are good as a method of identification. There’s no denying that there are attempts to replace passwords. However, experts are still trying to figure out how to do that securely.
Passwords Should Be Memorable
Passwords are not supposed to be memorable. With password security tools such as password manager apps available, there’s really no need to memorize 3 or 4 passwords. These apps let you generate and store strong passwords, i.e. password managers, for all your online accounts.
Some password manager apps will even fill passwords in your websites automatically to protect you from phishing attacks. With a password manager, you will be able to create secure passwords and not have to worry about remembering them. All you have to remember is the password to the password manager app itself (and your computer, obviously).
With useful password security tools such as password manager available, you really don’t have to worry about password hack risks. When you exercise a little caution on the internet and utilize these security tools, it’s easy to avoid even the most serious threats.
The internet doesn’t need to be a scary place for you. Just make sure that your computer or smartphone is up to date, use a password manager to store strong and unique passwords, and be careful when clicking on emails or links.